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Proverbs 19 Good News Translation (GNT)

19 It is better to be poor but honest than to be a lying fool.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble.

Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame the Lord.

Rich people are always finding new friends, but the poor cannot keep the few they have.

If you tell lies in court, you will be punished—there will be no escape.

Everyone tries to gain the favor of important people; everyone claims the friendship of those who give out favors.

Even the relatives of a poor person have no use for him; no wonder he has no friends. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot win any.[a]

Do yourself a favor and learn all you can; then remember what you learn and you will prosper.

No one who tells lies in court can escape punishment; he is doomed.

10 Fools should not live in luxury, and slaves should not rule over noblemen.

11 If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it.

12 The king's anger is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like welcome rain.

13 Stupid children can bring their parents to ruin. A nagging wife is like water going drip-drip-drip.

14 A man can inherit a house and money from his parents, but only the Lord can give him a sensible wife.

15 Go ahead and be lazy; sleep on, but you will go hungry.

16 Keep God's laws and you will live longer; if you ignore them, you will die.

17 When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back.

18 Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don't, you are helping them destroy themselves.[b]

19 If someone has a hot temper, let him take the consequences. If you get him out of trouble once, you will have to do it again.[c]

20 If you listen to advice and are willing to learn, one day you will be wise.

21 People may plan all kinds of things, but the Lord's will is going to be done.

22 It is a disgrace to be greedy;[d] poor people are better off than liars.

23 Obey the Lord and you will live a long life, content and safe from harm.

24 Some people are too lazy to put food in their own mouths.

25 Arrogance should be punished, so that people who don't know any better can learn a lesson. If you are wise, you will learn when you are corrected.

26 Only a shameful, disgraceful person would mistreat his father or turn his mother away from his home.

27 My child, when you stop learning, you will soon neglect what you already know.

28 There is no justice where a witness is determined to hurt someone. Wicked people love the taste of evil.

29 A conceited fool is sure to get a beating.


  1. Proverbs 19:7 Probable text No matter … any; Hebrew unclear.
  2. Proverbs 19:18 If you … themselves; or But don't punish them so hard that you kill them.
  3. Proverbs 19:19 get him out … again; or try to get him out of trouble, you only make things worse.
  4. Proverbs 19:22 It … greedy; or Loyalty is what is desired in a person.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

19 Better the poor walking in integrity
    than one perverse of speech who is a fool.
Desire without knowledge is not good,
    and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.
One’s own folly leads to ruin,
    yet the heart rages against the Lord.
Wealth brings many friends,
    but the poor are left friendless.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and a liar will not escape.
Many seek the favor of the generous,
    and everyone is a friend to a giver of gifts.
If the poor are hated even by their kin,
    how much more are they shunned by their friends!
When they call after them, they are not there.[a]
To get wisdom is to love oneself;
    to keep understanding is to prosper.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and the liar will perish.
10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury,
    much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11 Those with good sense are slow to anger,
    and it is their glory to overlook an offense.
12 A king’s anger is like the growling of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A stupid child is ruin to a father,
    and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
14 House and wealth are inherited from parents,
    but a prudent wife is from the Lord.
15 Laziness brings on deep sleep;
    an idle person will suffer hunger.
16 Those who keep the commandment will live;
    those who are heedless of their ways will die.
17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and will be repaid in full.
18 Discipline your children while there is hope;
    do not set your heart on their destruction.
19 A violent tempered person will pay the penalty;
    if you effect a rescue, you will only have to do it again.[b]
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    that you may gain wisdom for the future.
21 The human mind may devise many plans,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.
22 What is desirable in a person is loyalty,
    and it is better to be poor than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord is life indeed;
    filled with it one rests secure
    and suffers no harm.
24 The lazy person buries a hand in the dish,
    and will not even bring it back to the mouth.
25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
    reprove the intelligent, and they will gain knowledge.
26 Those who do violence to their father and chase away their mother
    are children who cause shame and bring reproach.
27 Cease straying, my child, from the words of knowledge,
    in order that you may hear instruction.
28 A worthless witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers,
    and flogging for the backs of fools.


  1. Proverbs 19:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 19:19 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 19 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

19 Better to be poor and live one’s life uprightly
    than engage in crooked speech, for such a one is a fool.

To act without knowing how you function is not good;
    and if you rush ahead, you will miss your goal.

A person’s own folly is what ruins his way,
    but he rages in his heart against Adonai.

Wealth brings in many friends,
    but the poor man loses the one friend he has.

A false witness will not go unpunished;
    whoever breathes out lies will not escape.

Many ask favors of a generous person —
    to a giver of gifts, everyone is a friend.

A poor man’s relatives all hate him;
    even more his friends stay away from him.
He may pursue them with entreaties,
    but they aren’t there to be found.

To acquire good sense is to love oneself;
    to treasure discernment is to prosper.
A false witness will not go unpunished;
    whoever breathes out lies will perish.

10 It isn’t fitting for a fool to live in luxury,
    and even less for a slave to govern princes.

11 People with good sense are slow to anger,
    and it is their glory to overlook an offense.

12 A king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A son who is a fool is his father’s ruin,
    and a nagging wife is like a leak that keeps dripping.
14 A house and wealth are inherited from ancestors,
    but a sensible wife is from Adonai.

15 Laziness makes people fall asleep,
    and an idle person will go hungry.

16 He who keeps a mitzvah keeps himself safe,
    but he who doesn’t care how he lives will die.

17 He who is kind to the poor is lending to Adonai;
    and he will repay him for his good deed.

18 Discipline your child while there is hope,
    but don’t get so angry that you kill him!

19 A violent-tempered person will be punished;
    if you try to save him from it, you make things worse.

20 Listen to advice, and accept discipline,
    so that in the end you will be wise.

21 One can devise many plans in one’s mind,
    but Adonai’s plan will prevail.

22 A man’s lust is his shame,
    and a poor man is better than a liar.

23 The fear of Adonai leads to life;
    one who has it is satisfied and rests untouched by evil.

24 The lazy person buries his hand in the dish
    but doesn’t even bother to bring it to his mouth.
25 If you strike a scorner,
    the simple will learn to act wisely;
if you reprove the intelligent,
    he will understand what you mean.

26 One who mistreats his father and evicts his mother
    is a son who brings them shame and disgrace.

27 My son, if you stop heeding discipline,
    you will stray from the principles of knowledge.

28 A worthless witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked swallows wrongdoing.

29 Judgments are in store for scorners
    and blows for the backs of fools.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 19 The Message (MSG)

If You Quit Listening

19 Better to be poor and honest
    than a rich person no one can trust.

Ignorant zeal is worthless;
    haste makes waste.

People ruin their lives by their own stupidity,
    so why does God always get blamed?

Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies,
    but poor people are avoided like a plague.

Perjury won’t go unpunished.
    Would you let a liar go free?

Lots of people flock around a generous person;
    everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist.

When you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you—
    yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost.
If they see you coming, they look the other way—
    out of sight, out of mind.

Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor;
    keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.

The person who tells lies gets caught;
    the person who spreads rumors is ruined.

10 Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street
    any more than workers should give orders to their boss.

11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue;
    their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

12 Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs;
    the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.

13 A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child;
    a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet.

14 House and land are handed down from parents,
    but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.

15 Life collapses on loafers;
    lazybones go hungry.

16 Keep the rules and keep your life;
    careless living kills.

17 Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
    and God pays back those loans in full.

18 Discipline your children while you still have the chance;
    indulging them destroys them.

19 Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger;
    if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.

20 Take good counsel and accept correction—
    that’s the way to live wisely and well.

21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
    but God’s purpose prevails.

22 It’s only human to want to make a buck,
    but it’s better to be poor than a liar.

23 Fear-of-God is life itself,
    a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises.

24 Some people dig a fork into the pie
    but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth.

25 Punish the insolent—make an example of them.
    Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.

26 Kids who lash out against their parents
    are an embarrassment and disgrace.

27 If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own,
    you’ll soon be out of your depth.

28 An unprincipled witness desecrates justice;
    the mouths of the wicked spew malice.

29 The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way;
    only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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